Video: The Story Behind the Colourful Buddhist Prayer Flags of the Himalayas

And why they’re never taken down. | By NGT Staff  
Prayer Flags
The colourful prayer flags, billowing in the wind, can be incredibly comforting for visitors to the Himalayas. Photo: iStock.com/kapulya

It’s impossible to miss the Buddhist prayer flags when you’re visiting the Himalayas. They’re wrapped around chortens, strung between treetops, even tied between the handlebars of bikers visiting the mountains. The colourful flags, waving constantly in the wind, are much more than decoration or a sign of human presence (though they are incredibly comforting when you’re hiking alone): They are a compassionate tradition that dates back centuries.

This video, created by Spiti Ecosphere, tells us how they are made—from printing to stitching—but also the blessings inscribed on each flag.

Spiti Ecosphere is an outfit that promotes community-based ecotourism in the remote and breathtakingly beautiful Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Through homestays and guided treks, they attempt to create sustainable sources of income in the district. It gives locals incentive to conserve their natural and cultural heritage, and travellers a chance to immerse themselves in the culture while on a carbon-neutral trip. For a deeper sense of life in the high-altitude desert of Spiti, and what travelling with Spiti Ecosphere is like, click here.

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